Re-Grow Roots

Learning to live harmoniously in Missouri.


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Life with Acorn, the natural birth of my second baby

She was born into pure bliss on the night of June 3rd at 11:40PM into the hands of her papa Carlos. With the support of Carlos, Sage and Maria I felt empowered and confident even through the most excruciating pains of my life. I had faith and courage to keep going through the cycles of contractions and power through every push with more and more strength then I knew I even had. The head peaked out and went back in three times and on the fourth time I told papa to pull her out! He says it looked like a sci fi movie from his angle and he couldnt pull her sweet little head. I pushed from the center of my being from a place deep inside that works on instinct and intuition. I kept pushing and pushing, arching my back and breathing through, roaring like a lioness with all the force of the great mother. Out she came into the hands of her daddy and in that moment all those feelings of courage, strength, pain, force… became absolutely bliss and the purest form of love that is not even describable with words. I wept there on my hands and knees, uncontrollable tears of absolute joy for this new baby girl, this sweet blessing from the great mystery of life. I did it!!! On hands and knees with the strength of a lioness and the deepest love I have ever felt, I did it. Without drugs. Without doctors. Without intervention. With the loving support of dear friends who believed in me, encouraged me, and flooded me with confidence. With all that love, my dream of a pure, natural, courageous birth was realized.

We slept in the trailer that night. I couldnt move much so we spent our first blussful night with our new baby there in the space that she was birthed. The next morning Kaylee, Nate, Jay, and Bert arrived for their visitor period. They sold their old life to make a life on the land with us here. Their new home for the time being is the same trailer and there we all were sharing the bliss of this amazing space. Slowly I gather myself together and carried our sweet little Acorn to our nest in the Catbox. We spent most of our first day in our room snuggling, snacking, loving, sharing our bodies and our souls. Maria and Nesto came over with tons of fruit and the community made a cheeseburger feast with homemade buns and all the works. It was a beautiful celebration. Darin also arrived and fell into the shared state of bliss with us. That night our planned midwife came over to do a check up on baby and me and found us to be in perfect health. She was unable to attend the birth but did reach Carlos that evening to encourage him that all would be well and she would come see me when the baby is born. We took our first warm bath together, with healing herbs to help our recovery process. It felt so nice.

On her second full day of life here on Earth in her new body, I began to feel a little emotional and sad. Post partum feelings and general feelings of overwhelm from all the huge changes that happened in the last day. Im normally a very active and involved person in all the things here at Oran Mor Community. Obviously just having given birth put me into a whole different reality and frequency and I wasnt able to be there to direct the family who is just getting settled into a life turned upside down from what they are used to. And they also felt like they have no idea how to plug in and what to do, and so there were some misunderstandings and a general break in our communication. We were able to talk and just communicating about the issues made everything feel so much more calm. I also began feeling some doubt and sadness about Carlos and my relationship because of past events that occured during my pregnancy and my own self doubt and trust issues. Baby Acorn was awake more this day, becoming more alert and aware with her eyes focusing on the people around. She is absolutely gorgeous. That night I wept tears of joy standing in our communal kitchen holding Acorn and sharing a moment with Carlos. I wept from the memory of the birthing that flooded into my consciousness when she looked at me. She felt my body and I felt hers and there was a moment of intense connection that only a mother and child will ever know and share. Carlos was there holding her feeling that moment with us and told me how strong and courageous I am, such power that I hold in my being. He expressed that he knows we have shared a deep bond for lifetimes and he knows that we are meant to travel through this lifetime together as a unit. I felt the truth in that statement deep in my soul. We stayed up late with our friends and family rejoicing in our life together.

Today, On day three I woke up early and spent some time in bed cuddling this precious new life and my two loves Kalani and Carlos. Kalani is so joyful
about his new baby sister, gives her kisses all the time, hugs, cuddles, watches her, and says the sweetest things. He loves having his friends Jay and Bert here who are 4 and 1. He and Jay play together almost all day. Life is beautiful. I was able to get up that morning and start doing the chores. Baby Acorn, Kalani, and Carlos were all in bed together. Kaylee was up making breakfast. I got to milk our goats and when I came back Acorn and Kalani were the cutest little peas in a pod cuddling on the couch together. What a blissful beginning to our day. Nesto and Maria brought us hay for our goats. Kathy stopped by with food and cookies for Kalani who shared them with everyone. I am such a blessed mama. I harvested fresh greens for our goats and took baby with me to harvest greens for the bunnies. My energy is coming back and my body is healing up quickly. I still rested a lot of the day, snuggling with this precious girl and took a nice nap together. We took our first car ride with her today, down to a neighbors farm to pick up some alfalfa. Kalani came along too. She was aware and content on the way there and then snuggled up and fell asleep. Later in the day, I left her with Opa so I could take some hay up the hill to our other goats. I actually pushed the wheelbarrow up there and felt great, and Kalani helped me fill the wheelbarrow with sticks for our cook fires and bring it down to our Outdoor Kitchen. When I got back down here, Acorn and Opa were snoozing on the couch. She is such a peaceful little fairie. She also had her first excursion to the creek today! Carlos and I took some laundry down there to wash and the kids, Kalani and Jay were already down there playing. After doing some of the laundry, I took a dip with our fairie babe who felt a bit cold and uncomfortable. It was a beautiful experience though, sharing natures beauty and healing with this incredible newborn life. Since then we have been lounging around and now she is laying on my belly as I document our life together so far. I feel absolute gratitude, love, joy, bliss, and the power of mother earth and great spirit charging through me and I am excited beyond words for every moment we share together.

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Tips for Elimination Communication

We have been practicing natural infant hygiene, or elimination communication, with our son for going on a month full time now. The first couple of weeks had their rough spots with many misses and some backup diapering here and there. We still have misses every once in a while, but we are diaper free 100% of the time even on long drives and outings! A month ago it sounded crazy to me to leave the house without any diapers for my son, and today we left at 7am to go sell at our local farmers market and we didn’t come home til after 2pm.. diaper free and no
misses all day! So here are some things that I have learned.

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Do diaper free as much as you are comfortable with. The point of natural infant hygiene is to love and respect your child by being fully present and aware of his or her needs. If it is too stressful to be diaper free all the time, then just do it when you feel peaceful and comfortable with it. Every little bit of diaper free time is good for your baby and for you.

Be consistent. Use a specific position every time you think your baby needs to eliminate. We hold Kalani in a crouching position with his legs up hovering over either the ground or a bucket. Use a specific place, like a bucket by the bed at night or the bathroom sink. Make a specific sound like a “psssss” or something similar when you hold him in position. Do this every time and your baby will become familiar with it.

Pee your baby first thing in the morning. This pee is the easiest one to catch in our experience. Kalani always has to pee in the morning, usually a few times, so right when he starts waking him up I hold him over his bucket to eliminate.

Have lots of diaper free time at home. We started out just being diaper free from morning until night here at home. When we left, we still used diapers during the transition period. We also used our cloth diapers without a cover at night. This way I would know when he peed right when he was wet and could immediately change his diaper.

Let your baby sleep naked with bed protection. After a few nights of the cloth diaper without a cover, we decided to let him sleep naked in our bed with us. We put him on a thick blanket and a few cloth diapers so the bed wouldn’t get wet. Other people use sheep skins, towels, or changing pads to protect the family bed.

Gradually and comfortably transition. When you feel ready, start taking your baby places without diapers and just a few extra pairs of pants. We started by putting a cloth diaper on him in his carseat, but we would make stops every half hour or so to see if he had to pee. If we were out in town, we would take him into a bathroom somewhere and pee him over the sink. Now we can drive for over an hour without any misses, just stopping once for a pee and we barely have misses even when we are gone all day.

Trust the process. This is something that is not familiar to most of us in our society so it can be a difficult thing to grasp. We can all do it though! Know that your baby is fully aware of his or her elimination needs from birth and your baby does not want to be in wet or poopy diapers. If you keep with it, you will progress and learn from eachother.

Don’t be discouraged. There are times when your baby might revert back to wetting the bed or peeing on the floor. Babies get stressed and they try to communicate in their own way so try not to be discouraged. We must understand that elimination is one way for them to communicate with us. Recently Kalani has been eating a lot more solid foods so his poop has evolved into a more solid consistency. Sometimes he works on getting his poop out all day off and on, but then it just randomly starts coming out without him letting us know. The food is more stressful on his system and he is getting used to it so it’s another transition period that we are flowing into.

Seek out support. Because this process is not very widely practiced in western society, it can be really hard to find support… but we are out there! Leave comments here and I’m happy to chat with you about it. Also, check out the book Natural Infant Hygiene and this forum about EC – http://www.mothering.com/community/f/227/elimination-communication .

Please share your experiences with elimination communication in the comments below!

Linked up at: Inspire Me Monday, Thanks Goodness It’s Monday


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My Diaper Free Baby (Elimination Communication)

Our little baby boy is growing so fast and learning so much every day. It’s hard to believe he is almost six months old already! This experience as a new mother is amazing beyond words, he teaches me new things about life every day.

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From the moment we realized I was pregnant I knew that I wanted to take a very natural and intuitive approach to parenting. I ate well, didn’t get ultrasounds, had minimal testing, and birthed naturally. We breastfeed, never use a bottle, co-sleep, and do everything together as a team. We spent most of that first month at home, naked most of the time, a lot of time spent diaper free just carrying a cloth diaper under his bum. My intuition told me that diapers weren’t necessary, but when we started going out more frequently, we started using cloth diapers regularly. Convenience was the biggest reason, and also a lack of faith in my ability to know his elimination needs.

This boy is absolutely amazing to me. He is so happy, talkative, active, and when he is sad there is a distinct reason for it. If I’m paying close attention, he tells me what he needs. He knows when he is hungry, he knows when he is full, he communicated to me when he was ready to try solid foods, and the same holds true for poops and pees. He knows when he has to go and if I slow down long enough to pay attention, I notice his cues.

Throughout the last five months I have had periods where he’s diaper free while we are home, but when we go out and during the night he always has a diaper. But something in my heart tells me it just isn’t right to have him wearing a portable toilet. He doesn’t like being wet and it’s difficult to avoid sometimes. It’s definitely not hygienic and to me, it seems more loving to be attentive to his needs before he goes, instead of after.

I bought a book to help me gain a little more confidence to take the leap into diaper freedom once and for all! It’s called Diaper Free: The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene by Ingrid Bauer and I highly recommend it to any mother whether she is considering diaper freedom or not. I started reading it a few days ago and since then Kalani has been diaper free during the day when we are here at home. I still use diapers at night and when we go out, but I am already starting feel a lot more confident and I’m sure we will be completely diaper free soon.

A common misconception is that babies don’t know when they have to go potty and even if they did know, there is no way that they would be able to tell parents. This is completely false! Babies do know when they have to go and they do give signals. What happens is that most babies become accustomed to wearing diapers and being wet, so they stop making those signals because parents don’t respond to them. From the beginning I have noticed that Kalani will make a little cue when he has to pee or poop, but they are small like a squirm or a grunt so if i’m not super tuned in, I miss it. Since committing more to being diaper free, I have become much more aware of his cues. Not only that, but he also responds to my cues! I take him outside to pee and hold him in a semi squat position while I make a hissing sound. This indicates to him that it’s time to pee and he responds by peeing. Babies are so aware and communicate in various ways when we open our minds to it and accept our intuition.

Throughout India, Africa, and South America there are many mothers who never used diapers with their babies and they are completely in tune with their child’s elimination needs. They have a very close bond with their baby and they respond immediately when the child needs anything. In Western societies we have become very distant from that closeness over the years. There are countless things that rip our attention away from our children and families so we must make a very conscious effort to create a different reality for ourselves. It’s a long and arduous journey, but worth every moment for us.

Do you have experience with elimination communication? Please share your thoughts!


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When to Feed Baby Solid Foods

Our sweet little Kalani is almost five months old already & it’s true when people say they grow up fast… He’s already starting to eat solid food! There’s much debate about when to start feeding babies and what they should eat, so how do you know when your baby is ready?

The thought was a little icky at first since I have exclusively breastfed since the beginning, not even one bottle. It was hard for me to accept that my little baby didn’t want only boobies anymore. It was obvious to us when the time came to start feeding solids because we allow Kalani to be fully present with us in everything we do. He sleeps with us in our bed at night, when I worked for a couple of months at the office I took him with me, he came along to plant trees with us at the farm yesterday, and he is always with us at every meal unless he’s sleeping. We don’t use special seats or baby tables, he sits right there with me on my lap at the table.

For the first four months or so, this was really easy to do because he didn’t show much interest in the food. I could just lay him down or set him up while I ate without a fuss. A couple of weeks ago he started showing an interest in what I was eating! He would grab my plate or put his hands into my food and then put his hands to his face. That was my cue.

We are starting really slow, introducing new and different foods gently. I began by just letting him lick little things off my finger. If he showed interest in my food, I let him try a lick. He’s tried yogurt, tomato sauce, smoothies, apple sauce, and the juice from other foods. Always just a little lick and I pay close attention to his expression to know what he thinks and I trust that he instinctively knows what is good for him.

The first food we gave him a full serving of was apple sauce that I made and canned myself from apples we harvested from a friend’s orchard last fall. This was the perfect food since I was part of the processing from start to finish and the apples were grown by a friend organically and with love. He thoroughly enjoyed it! The first time we fed him, we gave him 3 little spoonfuls and he took it down really well. The second time he got a little more. We have also given him a little homemade yogurt that I make from local raw organic cow’s milk, and some pre-chewed fruit (kiwi and pineapple).

To know what to feed him, I’m going by my intuition and knowledge of nutrition. Grains are difficult for babies to digest because they do not have a sufficient amount of amylase, the enzyme in our digestive system which assimilates grains. Whole foods like fruits, veggies, dairy, eggs, and meats can be a lot easier to digest and high in nutritional value when sourced locally and properly prepared.

So how do you know when your baby is ready? Just watch for the cues that your baby is interested in what you’re eating! Baby will let you know when they want to try solid foods if you pay attention. Start slow, make sure the foods are really mushy until baby has teeth, and feed baby foods that are easy to digest.


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I Sleep With My Baby, our co-sleeping experience

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Sleeping with baby is a very popular topic these days. There are the attachment parenting advocates who praise co-sleeping and baby-wearing, and there are the conspiracy pushers who say that co-sleeping causes SIDS… I won’t even go there. I’m just going to tell you about my experience.

My sweet little angel, Kalani Rain, is now 3 months old and we have co-slept in the same bed since he was born. It may not be for everybody, but for our budding family it has been absolutely wonderful and such a vital bonding experience. It’s an instinctual thing for me to sleep next to my child. I feel his every move, he wakes me with the lightest touch if he needs anything and I’m right there for him immediately. Super safe, super cozy.

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There is a certain way that I have learned to sleep so that little Kalani is comfortable and safe. Our bed is against a wall so I sleep on that side with him either between me and the wall or between his daddy and I. He curls up right by my side snuggled up to my booby. We sleep on a futon bed so it’s not very big, but it’s just big enough for the three of us.

I can’t even imagine having to get out of bed at night to feed a crying baby. It’s no wonder so many mamas experience sleep deprivation. Our little one just gives me some gentle nudges and grunts to let me know he’s hungry. Half asleep, I shift a boob towards him, he latches on, and I fall back to sleep. No sleepless nights for us! What could be better?

There is only one con that I can think of, and really it’s daddy’s complaint not mine. 🙂 Papa and I don’t have as much cuddle time as we used to. Neither of us feel like our love life is suffering though, we just adapt. When baby falls asleep I can turn around and cuddle up to Carlos and we get plenty of cuddles in throughout the day.

Traditionally, in most cultures families sleep together. There is no reason to be fearful of it or frown upon it. It’s instinctual, natural, and a beautiful experience that I advise any mama to try.

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My Natural Childbirth Experience

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Birthing my baby naturally without interference from any medical assistance was my plan from the beginning. Giving birth is something that the female spirit has been doing since the dawn of time, it is the very definition of natural. In our culture, however, we have become very separated from the un-clean, bloody, rawness that is giving birth. We are “protected” from all that. Personally, I had only seen birth in videos. I have seen the horrible, screaming women hooked up to tubes being wheeled around hospitals and I have seen the orgasmic and peaceful births of women with midwives giving birth at home, at birth centers, or in the ocean… Of course I wanted that perfect, peaceful, maybe even orgasmic birth! But it turned out to be way more intense than I imagined… Let me just say, women are ferocious and powerful forces of nature!!

It all started around 1:30am on October 29, 2013. I woke up and felt very cramped in my lower abdomen. At first I thought I was constipated… then I pooped… a lot. I was in labor!!! My surges (contractions) were mild, but from the very beginning they were happening every 5-7 minutes and sometimes only 3 minutes apart. I tried to go back to sleep but every time I laid down I felt totally horrible so I decided to get something to eat and take a bath. It felt way better to be moving After an hour or so, I woke my partner Carlos to let him know what’s going on. It was pretty smooth sailing and I was handling the surges really well.

Since I opted out of taking the mandatory beta strep test in September, our midwife had to quit seeing me. She was prohibited by the state of Arkansas to assist me in the birth of my child. I was not “allowed” to have an “out-of-hospital” birth. I still had my doula though, and I felt comfortable with giving birth on my own. It was time! I let my fabulous doula Annie know that I was in labor and kept her posted throughout the morning. Around 10am my dad took me and Carlos over to our friend’s cabin in the woods. Our plan was to have the birth in this beautiful cabin with woods to stroll in, a birth ball to sit on, a wonderful jetted tub, kitchen to cook, nice open space… everything I need.

This cabin was so perfect and beautiful and with my amazing birthing companions there, things were going beautifully. Annie came over around 11am and by noon, it was getting a little more intense. I took walks, sat on the ball, got in the tub. All of these things helped. During really tough surges, it helped me a lot to sway my hips in a circle and make low humming sounds or growls with a relaxed, open mouth. All of this helps to open up the birth canal.I was doing great.

Eventually a reality hit me and fear struck in. Around 7pm I felt like I hadn’t opened considerably in a few hours and I felt stuck. No one there knew how to check my dilation, there was no midwife or doctor to tell me things are okay.. just my faith in knowing that I can do it. For a long time I had total faith, but then I began to question myself. I began having doubts. We called my midwife in Arkansas to see if she could come to me or help us in some way, but she couldn’t do it. She was a total downer, fearful of our abilities, and her advice was that I go to the hospital. Of course this scared me even more.

Although I had this intellectual knowledge that women are perfectly able to birth unassisted, I am still conditioned like anyone else in our modern day civilized society to think that we need help. I knew that I could do it, but in my heart there was fear. So I decided to go to the hospital about 8:30pm. Once I decided to do that, my water began to break and I felt a lot more open but the fear was still there… so we went.

We got there around 8:45pm and I was fully dilated. I was a wreck at the hospital. It did nothing to ease my discomfort or pain. I was yelling, not following any of their wild instructions (like sitting and laying) and I just felt out of control. But I did it and my perfect baby boy was born at 9:18pm! I did it without pain killers and without much medical intervention and I learned so much from my experience.

Doubt and fear create the environment that allows pain in. Next time I will definitely have a trained midwife to guide me and offer me comfort that everything is perfect. Because it was.

Congratulations Kalani Rain Gabriel Fleck-Ferrer, you have joined us here on earth and you are in for a beautiful experience.


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Preparing for a Beautiful Birth

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The day is almost here, our Buddha Baby will soon be joining us outside my womb in this three dimensional world! We are so excited to meet our little one and begin our journey together.

Birth is an absolutely magical time that will be a part of your baby’s life forever. So I’m going the fully unmedicated, natural route to help ensure a perfect start to my baby’s life on the outside. The trip down the birth canal and out of a woman’s vagina can be joyful and absolutely pleasurable to both mother and child. This might sound totally crazy to many people, but I’ve heard from many women and watched a whole lot of videos where the mother is at complete peace or even experiencing ORGASMS during labor! There’s a great movie I highly recommend – The Orgasmic Birth .

1. TAKE CARE OF YOU –

Your baby is growing inside of you and you are providing everything it needs to survive and thrive. This includes the food you eat, the thoughts you think, the lifestyle you live, and everything in your environment. Everyone is unique and we all require a unique life so there is no one fool-proof way to nourish your baby… You will have to really look within yourself and do your research about what is best for you and your baby. One thing is true for everyone, positivity is a fundamental necessity of a healthy life so do what it takes to be in a happy state of mind! Good health starts with a positive spirit.

2. HYPNOBIRTHING –

One way that I have been preparing for a beautiful birth is through hypnobirthing classes that I have been taking from my doula. This is a style of birthing that utilizes self hypnosis, relaxation, meditation, and positive thought to encourage a pain free birth. We have practiced several guided visualizations that put me into a state of extreme relaxation. The women in the videos that she showed me are totally amazing, peacefully going in and out of surges (contractions) with no discomfort. The baby easily makes it’s way through the birth canal and out of the vagina without any noticeable pushing. Instead of pushing, I’ve learned to breathe the baby down. Pushing creates a lot of tension that is totally unnecessary when giving birth. Next time you take a poop, try breathing it out rather than pushing it out and notice the difference.

3. FEAR RELEASE –

To ensure a pain-free, stress-free labor FEAR RELEASING is absolutely essential. All fears are created by our own minds and with our minds we create our reality. If we are constantly worrying about something, it’s virtually impossible to relax and just enjoy the situation. So release that fear! Birth is natural and women have been doing it since the dawn of humanity. Nature gives birth to new life every moment of every day and more often than not it’s peaceful without any complication. Take the time to write down your fears and release them with love into the abyss. Just let go. Here is a great post I found that will help you to release those fears – Hypnobirthing: Effective Techniques to Release Fear, Stress, and Pain in Labor

4. CHOOSE THE PERFECT BIRTH SPACE –

Choose a space that you are comfortable to give birth in. The hospital can cause undue stress and treats birth as a business rather than a natural gift of life most of the time. There are many other options besides the normal hospital room. Some hospitals have birthing centers in the actual hospital that use midwives who can provide you with very professional and comforting care. You can also find a birthing center run by midwives outside of a hospital. Another option is to give birth at home with a midwife. There are so many options! Do your research and do what is most comfortable for you. It’s totally up to you what you decide to do. For it to be stress-free, you must be comfortable in your decision.

Every mother is a beautiful, unique goddess. You can create life without stress in utter bliss if you choose to do so. I believe in all mothers!! If you have a beautiful birth story, please share it in the comments! I would also love to feature some guest writers, please let me know if you are interested.

Love, Desiree

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